Review: “Aftershocks” by Marko Kloos

Aftershocks: The Palladium Wars Book 1 by Marko Kloos. 288 pages. 47North.

I’m a big fan of Marko Kloos because of his Frontlines series. As many of you know, I really like military science fiction, and Marko Kloos was a positive surprise discovery when I started reading the first series about Marines in wars against aliens on other planets in the future. When this new series started and got positive reviews, I had to check it out. Here is the Amazon summary for Aftershocks:

Across the six-planet expanse of the Gaia system, the Earthlike Gretia struggles to stabilize in the wake of an interplanetary war. Amid an uneasy alliance to maintain economies, resources, and populations, Aden Robertson reemerges. After devoting twelve years of his life to the reviled losing side, with the blood of half a million casualties on his hands, Aden is looking for a way to move on. He’s not the only one.

A naval officer has borne witness to inconceivable attacks on a salvaged fleet. A sergeant with the occupation forces is treading increasingly hostile ground. And a young woman, thrust into responsibility as vice president of her family’s raw materials empire, faces a threat she never anticipated.

Now, on the cusp of an explosive and wide-reaching insurrection, Aden plunges once again into the brutal life he longed to forget. He’s been on the wrong side of war before. But this time, the new enemy has yet to reveal themselves…or their dangerous endgame.

The story is told from the perspective of four different people: a Gretian special forces translator being released from prison, his sister who is a young business executive on Gretia, a Naval officer and a female sergeant in the occupation forces. The impression I get is that Kloos is trying to set the story up similar to The Expanse series, which is so popular on TV and book series. And it might get there. Trouble is, it seems like he’s having a hard time getting it off the ground.

The first entire first book is really a prologue to the series. It spends its time setting up the story, establishing the characters, and having them wander across the six planets in our storyline. There are a few action scenes, scattered here and there, most of them involving the sergeant in the occupation forces, some mystery, but mostly its a lot of interaction between characters and getting to know each other. I suspect that the three-book series might have been better (and possibly was originally proposed) as one-much larger book. So far, it’s just slow.

I have already bought the second book, and that fact, coupled with the faith I have in Marko Kloos as an author leads me to tell you that I be reading the next book in the series. But the reality is, I was underwhelmed by this. Maybe I was just expecting another Frontlines series and he wanted to do something else.

I give it three stars out of five.